Concerto Competition Winners Jonathan Kim ’20 & Christian Verfenstein ’20 Featured Alongside Symphony Orchestra in Concert at The Crane School of Music
The Crane Symphony Orchestra at SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music will present four classic works in its first concert of the academic year, on Wednesday, Oct. 9 at 7:30 p.m., in the Helen M. Hosmer Concert Hall.
The performance will open with the overture from “Die Meistersinger” by Richard Wagner, followed by two beloved concertos, featuring two student winners of the 2019 Crane Concerto Competition. Jonathan Kim ’20 (New York, N.Y.) will perform alongside the orchestra in the “Concerto for Violoncello” by Antonín Dvořák, while Christian Verfenstein ’20 (Huntington Station, N.Y.) will be the featured soloist in “Piano Concerto No. 2” by Sergei Rachmaninoff. The concert will conclude with “Symphony No. 5 (Reformation)” by Felix Mendelssohn.
About the performers:
Jonathan Kim ’20, a native of Buffalo N.Y., began studying the cello at age four. He has performed as a soloist in venues across the U.S., and most recently, in Quebec, Canada. He is a prize-winner of many solo and chamber music competitions, including the 2019 Crane Concerto Competition, the Greater Buffalo Youth Orchestra Concerto Competition, the Stephan String Chamber Competition and the Crane Chamber Competition. Kim has performed in Canadian music festivals such as Le Festival International du Domaine Forget and Orford Musique, where he has had the opportunity to study with artists such as Johannes Moser, Michel Strauss and Philippe Mueller.
Kim is currently studying with Dr. Marie-Élaine Gagnon and expects to graduate in May 2020 with a Bachelor of Music degree in music performance from The Crane School of Music.
Christian Verfenstein ’20 began to play the piano at the age of six, and is currently studying with Dr. Young-Ah Tak at The Crane School of Music, as a double major in piano performance and music education. Prior to coming to Crane, he studied with Donald Pirone at the Queens Pre-College and Julian Martin at the Juilliard Pre-College programs. Verfenstein is a prize-winner of multiple competitions, having received first prize in the 2012 Associated Music Teachers League Competition, second prize in the 2014 New York Music Competition, first prize in the 2016 Alexander & Buono International Piano Competition, first prize in the 2017 North Shore Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition and first prize in the 2019 Crane Concerto Competition. He has also attended many summer music festivals, such as the 2016 Boston University Tanglewood Institute Young Artists Piano Program, the 2017 American Piano Forum, and Pianofest in the Hamptons in 2019. On top of pursuing piano studies, Verfenstein likes to solve math puzzles and is an avid model railroader.
The Crane Symphony Orchestra is the second oldest college orchestra in the United States, and in its long legacy, students at Crane have worked with legendary conductors and musicians, such as Nadia Boulanger, Sarah Caldwell, Aaron Copland, Howard Hanson, Gunther Schuller and Robert Shaw, to name a few. Directed by Dr. Ching-Chun Lai, the Crane Symphony Orchestra is a premier, 93-member performing ensemble at The Crane School of Music. The Crane Symphony Orchestra has performed in Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center and in Carnegie Hall, among other prestigious venues.
This concert is free, and the public is invited to attend.
This concert will be broadcast live on the Crane School of Music YouTube channel at the performance time. To view the program and see other upcoming streaming performances, visit www.potsdam.edu/academics/Crane/streaming.
About The Crane School of Music:
Founded in 1886, SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music has a long legacy of excellence in music education and performance. Life at Crane includes an incredible array of more than 300 recitals, lectures and concerts presented by faculty, students and guests each year. The Crane School of Music is the State University of New York’s only All-Steinway institution. For more information, please visit www.potsdam.edu/crane.